Saturday, September 28, 2013

How could Snowden and Navy Yard killer get top security clearances?

Le's get this straight.

The headline question is "How could Snowden and Navy Yard killer get top security clearances?"

The story reveals that we have had an explosion in the number of Federal positions and positions with Federal contractors that require a top security clearance. ( I've read elsewhere that it's around a million positions now that require one.)  And millions more requiring lower level security clearances.

The result is a government where no one can talk to anyone else about what they're really doing or why.  Telling us, the American people, what these million people our tax dollars are paying for are doing has been raised to a capital crime, a crime so serious that our President created a major international incident to try to make one of them shut up!

Now we learn that the job of deciding who should be trusted with admission to this vast web of secrecy has been privatized, turned over to a private corporation whose central organizing principle is the bottom line - organized greed - with bonuses for doing the job quickly!  Mass produced top security clearances for profit!

All of this supposedly to protect us from the threat of Al Qaida-led terrorists - the ones the US is now openly arming and supporting in Syria!

This is not only breathtakingly insane, it's also extremely dangerous.

But the question the article seemingly poses is "how do we do this better?"

Actually, there's a deeper problem here. Snowden had access to all those top secret files because so much is top secret, so many have top secret clearance, and they need to talk to each other to get anything done at all. The more gets classified, the worse it gets. 

The deeper danger, now plain to see, is that this web of secrecy is indefensible in a free society, impossible to maintain.  It is thus incompatible with freedom of speech and freedom of the press. 

One or the other will have to go - this massive secrecy or democracy - and the issue is on the table now.  
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